Live Your Dream Education & Training Awards for Women
The Soroptimist Live Your Dream Awards assist women who provide the primary source of financial support for their families by giving them the resources they need to improve their education, skills and employment prospects.
Each year, Soroptimist International Newport Harbor Area awards at least one woman with a Live Your Dream Award. Those women are then eligible for region and federation awards. Annually, more than $1.6 million in education grants are awarded to more than 1,200 women, many of whom have overcome enormous obstacles including poverty, domestic violence, trafficking, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, and/or drug and alcohol abuse.
Dream It Be It: Mentoring and Career Support for Girls
Dream It, Be It is a mentoring and education program for girls in secondary school who face obstacles to their future success. It provides girls with access to professional role models, career education, and resources to live their dreams. Through Dream It, Be It, Soroptimist clubs provide girls who face obstacles with guidance, training, and resources that will prepare them for career success. We intervene at just the right time to put girls on a path to a brighter future.
Since its launch in 2015, more than 84,000 girls have participated in a Dream It, Be It program.
Soroptimists Together Against Trafficking (STAT II)
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. One type of slavery and exploitation that is proliferating at an alarming rate—and that has a particular relevance to women and girls—is sex trafficking/slavery. Seventy-nine percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls. Also, seventy-nine percent of the victims of trafficking end up in sex slavery.
Soroptimists work to raise awareness about human trafficking, educate about the signs of human trafficking, and support survivors both globally and in our local community.
Dream Assist Awards
In 2017, Soroptimist International of Capistrano Bay created Dream Assist, a unique signature program, as an adjunct to our Live Your Dream Award. Working with the Counseling Department of Saddleback Community College, monetary awards and essential school supplies are given to deserving women who are currently attending the college. Students in the EOPS program (Educational Opportunities Program and Services), complete an application and meet with a Saddleback counselor to assess their needs and educational goals. Applications are then sent to our club’s Dream Assist committee.
Our Dream Assist awards are individualized to meet the needs of each recipient. We have provided laptops, printers & ink, gas gift cards, and specialty items needed for the recipients’ course studies. Cash awards for groceries, books, and parking permits are also among some of the awards our recipients have received.
The number of deserving young women applying to Dream Assist continues to increase every year. In 2022, Soroptimist of Capistrano Bay received a grant from Soroptimist International which doubled our available funding for the year. As a result, we were able to increase the number of recipients to 14 awardees, our greatest number of awards to date!
Irma, a recent recipient of our Dream Assist Award, stated, “I am honored to receive the Dream Assist Award from Soroptimist International of Capistrano Bay. The award allows me to continue my education and complete my goals for myself and my family. I feel that a window of opportunity has been finally opened for me.”
Club Grants for Education and Economic Empowerment
The Soroptimist Club Grants for Education and Economic Empowerment are funds given to Soroptimist clubs to start or continue projects in their communities that increase access to education for women and girls facing obstacles to their success.
Soroptimist introduced Club Grants in 1997 to assist with community projects that improve the lives of women and girls. Each year the Soroptimist organization funds about $125,000 in club grants. Since the program’s inception, nearly $1.4 million has been awarded and clubs have assisted more than 100,000 women and their families.
We are committed to serving local, national, and international communities. Soroptimist leaders, regions, clubs, members, and donors tirelessly dedicate their energy and passion to shaping the future. Together, we work on life-changing programs that aim to fulfill our important mission. It is this collective action that has made a transformative impact on the lives of the women and girls we serve.
This is accomplished through a broad program of service covering six vital areas:
Women and girls are empowered by being afforded human rights and freedom from all forms of abuse and violence.
Women and girls are enabled to achieve their full potential throughout their lifetime.
Women live and work in safe and equitable environments with equal opportunities for advancement.
Women and girls have optimal mental and physical health throughout all stages of their lifespan.
We are equal partners in the process of managing natural resources, maintaining biodiversity, and achieving sustainable communities.
Women and girls are equal partners in the attainment of world peace, tolerance, and understanding.